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Ex-FBI Profiler: Dylann Roof May Have Transmitted Intentions

By    |   Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:04 PM

Dylann Roof, the accused shooter in the South Carolina killings, may have transmitted his intentions before he walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and fired on Wednesday, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"There's this phenomenon that's called 'leakage,'" O'Toole, director of the forensic science program at George Mason University in Northern Virginia, told "The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner. "These individuals will forecast their intentions.

"Sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly — but that's what our strongest message is that, unless you're trained, you can't tell if someone is joking or not joking.

"I can't tell if somebody's joking or not joking. It would require me to do an assessment to determine whether or not they're serious and that they've taken steps to carry out that threat of violence," O'Toole said.

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And it's important that only the authorities or licensed professionals make the determination on whether someone may be serious or not, Chicago-area psychologist Tiffany Sanders said.

"If someone is making claims of potentially wanting to do harm to someone, it's important to contact the police and let the police first decide if that person is at risk versus people making that decision," she said.

More broadly, however, mass shootings are not on the rise in America — and mental illness should not always be easily fingered as the culprit, Sanders said.

"Mass killings are not increasing. Unfortunately, they're just very sensationalized.

"There is a connection with individuals who do often do mass killings that they may have had a diagnosis or have been misdiagnosed or mistreated," Sanders told Berliner. "We don't want to blame mental illness because that's not the cause of it.

"There's often at times a correlation between someone who has just committed a crime, such as a mass murder, and them having some sort of mental illness."

As such, the danger in readily tying mental health to such deaths is stereotyping all people with depression or a similar issue, said O'Toole, the author of "Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Us."

"The mental-health issue can't be looked at and a conclusion made that, 'Aha! This person is depressed,' therefore in the future — all depressed people — we're going to have to round up and put them somewhere in the United States because they have the potential of acting out in terms of a mass homicide," O'Toole said.

"For me, that's what's happening now. We're now jumping ahead saying we have to round up all these people and identify them because they're depressed or they're bipolar.

"Yes, you can have an underlying mental-health issue — and many have — but these are still people who understand the consequences of their actions, and they know the difference between right and wrong," she added.

"It's not as simple as 'A equals B equals C.'"

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Dylann Roof, the accused shooter in the South Carolina killings, may have transmitted his intentions before he walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and fired on Wednesday, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole told Newsmax TV on Friday.
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2015-04-19
Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:04 PM
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